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First-of-its-Kind Community Solar in Denver

This past winter, NHT-Renewable partnered with the Denver Housing Authority (DHA) to install a community solar garden. DHA is the first Housing Authority in the country to develop, own and operate its own community solar garden. The program is the latest addition to DHA’s award-winning “Living Green” initiative which has, through concentrated green building design and construction, established DHA as a national energy conservation and renewable energy industry leader.

Community solar gardens are centrally-located solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that provide electricity to participating subscribers. What does this mean for Denver? This means DHA’s 2-megawatt, $3.8 million community solar project will power multiple affordable housing communities across Denver and help both low-income families and affordable housing developers reduce their energy bills.

The project will provide 20 percent energy savings to 500 affordable homes, while offsetting over 54,000 tons of CO2 emissions. NHT-Renewable served as a financial structuring partnering—providing a package of equity and debt options, in addition to guidance on all aspects of structuring the deal.

In addition to DHA housing properties, other Denver-area affordable housing providers are participating in the program. DHA hopes the project will reduce the cost of building affordable housing units, stretching funding for new construction and providing more homes for low-income families. In addition, the installer will provide affordable housing residents interested in entering the booming solar industry with hands-on training, certification, and employment throughout construction and beyond.

For more information about renewable energy or community solar, contact NHT Assistant Vice President, Sustainability, Jared Lang.